I took to exercising after Christmas. It was in part to lose some belly fat and admittedly because I was just bored and lonesome. During this time I made a discovery; If I pushed myself beyond 30 minutes I experienced a euphoric sense of confidence. It was subtle, but having been depressed for the better part of 4 years it was a noticeable difference.
I liked it.
So I kept at it.
Then, as a treat, and to serve as a carrot to do that damn exercise, I gave myself a relaxing 15 minutes in a sauna at the end.
I often had it to myself.
So I threw Eucalyptus oil in the water, turned out the light, and sat naked in the dark.
The heat and exertion pushed me to the edge.
Sometimes I even got an erection, it felt good.
I found something there, in that small wooden box.
I found the veil thinned, I found the lines of sanity blurred.
I felt fear, a tremor, and a terror as the heat grew and at some point I realised
I had re-created for myself an ancient ritual -
The Sweat Lodge.
A place where the mind was forced into submission by the gods of heat, and vows were offered up into what could easily be a spiritual moment, a holy cauldron.
I spoke to my family there, the dead, my happy ancestors.
I asked for guidance there, and did a lot of thinking.
Through that heat I could feel the winds of the other side, and I fancied that they listened to me as I called out.
Then finally when I could take it no more, the heat pushing me to unconsciousness, I would stumble out and let a cold shower bring me back down to earth.
It felt good to know that even in the heart of this soulless machine, I could find a place to connect with the gods.